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of the race-making this by far more prominent than the special truth of the atonement. Christ is regarded by him as the type of human nature, as expressing its normal state, as revealing its true life, duty, death, and resurrection. Indeed, he assails many of the orthodox views of the atonement, charging them with being artificial and scholastic, instead of evangelical. He inveighs especially against the idea that the atonement was for the purpose of reconciling, propitiating, or changing the will of God; but holds, on the contrary, that Christ was the most perfect expression of that divine will.
Mr. Maurice's own idea of the atonement is very obscurely stated, and seems to grow out of his general view of Christ's relations to humanity. Christ having thus joined himself to our nature, and being in every man, then it follows that the atonement for man's sin, which brings man to stand complete in Christ's righteousness, is simply the fact that Christ as man, as one with humanity, as thus completely representing humanity, has lived a perfectly righteous life, and above all, has manifested that spirit of perfect self-sacrifice to do the will of God, which found its culmination in the cross. "The broad and simple gospel, that God hath set forth his Son as the propitiation for sin, that he has offered himself for the sins of the world, meets all the desires of these heart-stricken sinners. It declares to them the fulness of God's love, sets forth the Mediator in whom they are at one with the Father. It brings divine love and human suffering into direct and actual union. It shows him who is one with God and one with man, perfectly giving up that self-will which has been the cause of all men's crimes and all their misery." a
In Christ humanity has conquered sin, and manifested a perfect obedience of, or union with, the will of God. This, he thinks, constitutes the true or essential atonement. As to the literal sacrifice and death of our Lord, Mr. Maurice speaks thus: "It was the divine death and the human death, 2 Ibid., p. 108.
1 Theological Essays, p. 107.
the death which manifested the mind and will of the Father; it was the death in which all men were to see their own." 1 And again: "As the conscience was awakened by God's teaching more and more clearly to perceive that all resistance to God lies in the setting up of self; that this is the great barrier between him and his revolted creatures; it began to be understood that the atonement of man with man must have its basis in an atonement of God with man, and that the same sacrifice was needed for both. One thing yet remained to be learned, the most wonderful lesson of all; and yet of which God had been giving the elements, line upon line, precept upon precept, from the beginning. Could sacrifice originate in God? Could it be made, not first to him, but first by him? Could the sacrifices of men be the effect, not the cause, of his love and free grace to them? All our Lord's discourses concerning himself and his father, concerning his own acts as being merely the fulfilment of his Father's will, concerning the love which the Father had to him because he laid down his life for the sheep,had been bringing these mysteries to light; had been preparing the humble and meek to confess, with wonder and contrition, that in every selfish act they had been fighting against the unselfish God, that in every self-sacrificing act they had been merely yielding to him,- merely submitting to die, according to the law of his eternal being, which he had created men to show forth." 2 And yet again: "I have maintained that his death alone could take away the sin of the world, because it alone could satisfy the perfectly loving mind of God; because it alone could unite mankind to God in the person of his Son and our Lord, who was known before the foundation of the world, but who was manifested in the latter day on Calvary; because it alone could draw the minds of all men, each wandering in his own way, seeking his own ends, to the one centre."3
1 St. John's Gospel, Dis. XXVII. p. 426.
2 St. John's Gospel, Dis. XXI. p. 333.
Patriarchs and Lawgivers of the Old Testament, p. xii.
Quotations might be multiplied on this point, but they would make the general idea no plainer that, according to this view, the atonement, in the place of being a sacrifice for sin, satisfying the claim of the divine law of holiness, and removing its condemnation, consisted in Christ's manifestation for all humanity represented in him, of the holy and perfect will of the Father, to the entire sacrifice or giv ing up of his own will. The solemn testimony to this, the last indubitable sealing of its truth, was the shedding of his blood on the cross. Hence it was in essence wholly a moral or spiritual act in Christ's mind. It was, for once, the expression of an entire compliance with the divine will on the part of man, and of a perfectly fulfilled righteousThis restored man, in Christ, to the love of Godthis really brought him once more in union and fellowship with the divine heart. It requires very little penetration to see that this view, whether true or false, differs substantially from the prevailing creed of the Christian church on the subject of the atonement. Christ dying for the sins of the whole world, however variously and as yet ineffectually explained, and however perhaps inexplicable, is not, in point of simple fact, Christ leading a perfectly righteous life even unto death, and thus bringing humanity in himself into oneness with God.
The act of faith, whereby the atonement is appropriated or made effectual to the soul of the believer, is thus stated, we will not say clearly, in Mr. Maurice's own words. In a sermon on "The Perfect Sacrifice," he says: "But what if this wrong in every man was his own self, how given up? How could this be got rid of? swers: "Christ, through the Eternal Spirit, offered himself to God." He made that wonderful sacrifice; he gave up, And this was not done
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not something else, but himself. by some mighty effort of his own. he offered himself up to God"; he
"By the Eternal Spirit merely yielded himself
to God's will; God himself prepared the sacrifice. And how does that benefit us? How can we give up ourselves the more for knowing this? We give up ourselves when we acknowledge that we have no power to give up ourselves; that it is Christ alone who could make the sacrifice for us all. Each one of us does not try to do something in himself; he does not try to draw near to God in himself; he is content to own that he has no life except in Christ, and that he can draw nigh to God only in him; and he owns that even this he cannot do by any effort of his own will; he can only do it by the eternal Spirit which is in Christ, and by which he moves the members of his body. Now, brethren, this faith does not merely take away particular sins, it takes away the root of sin; it takes away that conscience of sin of which the apostle speaks. For the root of sin is our self-will; the conscience of it is finding out this self-will in ourselves. When we approach God as our reconciled Father in Christ, who accepts us for his sake, and bestows his Spirit upon us for his sake, we give up our self-will, we acknowledge that our life is not in ourselves, but in him, and that from him must come forth the power which enables us to enjoy the new life that we have in him. It is thus that the life-blood which is in Christ purges our consciences from dead works to serve the living God. For separate from God all our works must be dead; but this blood of Christ testifies that we are united to him. Where the will of God does not inspire our wills all our works must be dead. But this blood of Christ is a stream of life coming forth from God himself to quicken the spirits and souls and bodies of his crea tures." 1 He says again, more definitely: "Finally, learn that faith is the giving up of your own will to God's will; resting in him because you cannot rest in yourselves; living in him because you have no life of your own." Even Christ surrenders his will to God. Faith, by this view, is doing the same, through his power in us, and is thus an appropriation of the benefits of the redeeming work, by 2 Ibid., p. 184.
1 Christmas-day and other Sermons, p, 111.
resting in the Spirit of Christ or in the will of God. It is an act of self-surrender, or rather suffering Christ as our representative to make this self-surrender for us. "Christ is in us, and we may know him if we will give up our selves." 1
JUSTIFICATION AND REGENERATION.
It follows, according to Mr. Maurice's theory, that the saving results of the atonement consist simply in man's coming to see or to realize, or by giving up his selfish, sensual, and unbelieving blindness of heart, to know in what near and filial relations he stands to God in Christ. No new relation is created or needed, but the eternal relation of man to God in Christ becomes practically apprehended. When this is done, the man stands righteous in Christ before God, and born into his kingdom, taking hold with joy and freedom of his full rights as a child of God. Then, like Job, he discovers with delight the real righteousness of Christ within him, and is at peace. "You have such a righteousness. It is deeper than all the iniquity which is in you. It lies at the very ground of your existence. And this righteousness dwells not merely in a law which is condemning you, it dwells in a Person in whom you may trust. The righteous Lord of man is with you, not in some heaven to which you must ascend that you may bring him down; in some hell to which you must dive that you may raise him up; but nigh you, at your heart." 2 The justified and renewed life is considered to be the actual coming into the conscious possession of that which is every man's right, but which is shut up and obscured by an ignorant unbelief. Our author says to all men, all sinners: "Claim your por tion in the eternal truth and love and righteousness which he has manifested to you, and of which he has made you heirs; for you are members of Christ's body, and Christ is at the right hand of God." Regeneration is an awakening
1 The Unity of the New Testament, p. 409.
2 Theological Essays, p. 51.
* Ibid., p. 205.